Elba and Winslet are brilliant and realistically the film’s only highlight
When The Mountain Between Us is stripped back, with the passionate and meaningful performances from Idris Elba and Kate Winslet taken away, the film is a terribly hollow shell that only echoes back what has already been said. It’s undeniably empty, an issue clearly stemming from the thin and drawn out plot.
A vicious storm causes Alex’s (Kate Winslet) flight to cancel forcing her to charter her own flight in an attempt to get back for her wedding day. With fellow passenger Ben’s (Idris Elba) help, the pair take a private flight which goes horribly wrong when the pilot suffers a stroke over the rocky mountains. Trapped in the middle of nowhere, Alex and Ben must work together to find their way out of the seemingly endless mountains.
It is rare for the core casting decisions, especially in a romance, to be perfect. Yet, The Mountain Between Us has brought together two actors who know exactly how to handle difficult emotions. They fully understand the desires and passion Alex and Ben have for each other, and how it needed to grow throughout the film. Elba and Winslet are brilliant and realistically the film’s only highlight. They work well with the script, bringing out its monotonous notions in a surprisingly interesting way, and the interactions they work through together are a joy to watch.
Without the pair, the film would die in a pool of ever-expanding boredom. There is very little intent on creating a piece that shows the wonder of the mountain range they find themselves in. Instead, a darker, lonelier, side is on show, an icy setting that has very little impact when on the big screen. Far more needed to be done than just letting the leading pair carry the film.
It’s fairly obvious that The Mountain Between Us relies on its actors substantially more than it should, but as far as romance films go, this is one that does feel different and has more significance than a run of the mill love story.